By Allison Kirschbaum

On the battlefield, an Army sniper is always feared as they are the dominating instrument in warfare. They can score a record shot even from miles away. Their work involves more than just using their superior marksmanship ability to take down a target. High observation, land reconnaissance, and camouflage are some of the skills and knowledge a sniper must possess to be successful. With the commercialization of becoming a sniper in films like the American Sniper and the Sniper franchise, many young troops are misguided about what it's like to be a real sniper. The real deal is, to become one, you need to gain the necessary experience and skills and pass the specialized training courses from the U.S. Army Sniper School.

How to Become a Sniper in the Army

If you have decided to become a part of the sniper team, here are some of the things you need to know on how to become a sniper in the Army.

1. Be a Current Soldier

The first step in becoming a sniper is to be on active duty or in the Reserve National Guard.

2. Get Experience With the Infantry

The infantry is the starting point for numerous positions, including Army Snipers and Rangers. Before you can start in the Sniper School, there are distinguished records that you need to establish.

  • Your Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) score must be at least 87.
  • There is a 14-week training course for the infantry.
  • You must attain weapons usage, ground tactics, stress management, and a readiness to accept challenges.

3. You Need to Attain a Sufficient Rank

One of the requirements on how to become a sniper in the Army is to be classified as Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), 11B (Infantry Soldier), 19D (Cavalry Scout), or 18 series (Special Forces) in the rank of E3 through E6. Those Soldiers who have attained MOS 11B will be given an additional Skill Identifier (ASI) B4 (Sniper).

4. Exceed or Meet a Certain Test Scores

To become an Army sniper, you need to have a 100 score or higher on the General Technical (GT) of the ASVAB before applying as a sniper.

5. You Need to Have Perfect Vision

The demand for becoming a sniper in shooting long-distance targets requires good vision. To proceed with the training, an aspirant must have a 20/20 or correctable to 20/20 vision. Plus, you must be able to identify colors correctly.

6. Must Possess the Expert Rifle Skills

An Army sniper must have higher marksmanship; you must be at an "expert" level with the M4 rifle within six months of attending the sniper course. Furthermore, snipers are required to shoot at a distance of 500 meters with the target the size of a playing card.

7. Be in Good Physical Shape

Snipers often move through rugged terrain alone, so a minimum physical profile of 111221 is a must. You must also have your most recent medical examination or physical assessment.

8. Must Have a Clean Record

Becoming an Army sniper requires heightened conduct, confidentiality, and control. With this, you need clean civilian and military records, with no records of substance or alcohol abuse.

9. Pass Your Psychological Examination

Being a sniper comes with a lot of stress, pressure, and danger; thus, you need to have good mental health. An authorized psychologist must conduct a psychological examination within one year before the start date of your training course.

10. Posses Security Clearance or Be Eligible to Obtain It

Being a sniper is highly classified and you need to get an Interim Secret Security Clearance before your training. This clearance is being issued by the Department of Defense. In order to get one you need to be a U.S. citizen or naturalized citizen, must undergo some background checks, and have a position that necessitates the clearance.

Most people think being an Army sniper is easy, but it comes with great responsibility and much preparation. Since the role is also demanding, those with determination and courage will become one.

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